No, I am not the first person to show how to cut an onion, but I still see most people in the world doing it wrong. So I figure another one wouldn’t hurt.
When you are slicing an onion there are a few key points that will make it easier on you.
- Having a sharp knife
- Keep the root intact
- Use your fingernails as a guide
- Be sure to have your thumb pulled back behind the fingers
Let’s dig into these real quick to give some clarity and context.
Having a sharp knife. This one is helpful for a couple different reasons. A sharp knife will help you cut the onion faster and with cleaner cuts, which will keep from crushing the cells of the onion. The more you crush the cells the more likely you will get the tearing up effect that many people experience when slicing and onion.
The second reason for this is actually for knife safety. More often than not people cut themselves with dull knives because they have to use more force than they normally would to cut something, and the item they are cutting might not be fully sturdy in how it is laying and can roll, slide, etc. This is a big reason for getting cut. So a knife that is sharp will just slice straight into the onion and not try and roll or slide off since it is a round object that is prone to this.
Keep the root intact. Onions have many different layers that are only held together by their roots. When you cut the onion longways it creates a flat stable side to lay the onion. Keeping the root on at this point will keep the onion together as you cut both directions into it. Without the root you could still cut the onion, but as you got to the end of it, it would start falling apart which creates a greater possibility for cutting yourself, as well as makes it much harder to make uniform cuts.
Use your fingernail as a guide. When cutting pretty much anything you should have the hand that is holding onto the item you are cutting turned perpendicular to the knife with your fingernail side if your fingers being used as a guide for the knife. When the side of the knife is in contact with your fingers, you know that you where the blade is, which means it isn’t cutting you. You also can use that hand to control where the knife is cutting. The hand that you use to rock the blade needs to be able to flow comfortably as it is rocking to create an ideal cutting pattern. It doesn’t have as much precision because of this, which is why you want to use the other hand to create that precision and control.
Be sure to have your thumb pulled back behind your fingers. Another perk of using the back of your fingers as a guide for the knife, is having a line, that if you keep your thumb behind you won’t cut your thumb. A lot of people when the start slicing and using their fingernails as a guide, they focus so much on this but forget to pull their thumb back, which causes them to cut safely along their hand but right down into their thumb. So heed my advice. KEEP YOUR THUMB PULLED BACK OUT OF THE WAY!